Beginning in November 2016, in accordance with the agreement signed between the United States and China to extend visa validity, Chinese citizens with 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 (visitor) visas in Peoples’ Republic of China passports, will be required to periodically update biographical and other information from their visa application.
Updates will be required via a website, every two years, or upon getting a new passport, whichever occurs first. This mechanism will be called EVUS – Electronic Visa Update System.
Please note – You do not need to take any action until the EVUS online update system becomes available in NOVEMBER 2016.
What is EVUS?
EVUS, the Electronic Visa Update System, is the online system used by nationals of China holding a 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa to periodically update basic biographic information in order to facilitate their travel to the United States.
In addition to a valid visa, such travelers will be required to complete an EVUS enrollment to be admitted into the United States.
How do travelers use EVUS?
Beginning in November 2016, Chinese travelers will be required to go online and update their information in order to comply with EVUS. Visa holders can expect to provide their name, birth date, and passport information, as well as other biographical and employment information.
Can someone else update information in EVUS on a traveler’s behalf?
Yes – a friend, relative, travel industry professional, or other third party may submit the required information to EVUS on a traveler’s behalf; however, the traveler is responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of all information submitted.
Will EVUS enrollment be required for admittance into the United States?
Yes – starting in November 2016. The Governments of the United States and China entered into an agreement to issue visitor visas with 10-year validity, on a reciprocal basis. The arrangement recognized that travelers would be required to periodically complete an online form updating their biographical information in order to help facilitate the admission of Chinese travelers into the United States.
Will this affect current visa holders, new applicants, or both?
Both. Applicants who are currently holding valid 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visas will have to enroll in EVUS in order to use their visas after November 2016. Applicants who receive their 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visas after November 2016 will have to enroll before their initial trip to the United States.
Enrollment for all applicants will remain valid for two years or until the traveler’s visa or passport expires, whichever comes first.
I just received a 10-year B1/B2 visa. Will I need to obtain a new visa after I enroll in EVUS?
No, your visa remains valid. However, you will be unable to travel to the United States AFTER November 2016 unless you have also enrolled in EVUS.
Is there a fee to update information in the EVUS System?
There will be a nominal fee to enroll with EVUS used to cover the cost of running the system. Fee information will be made available before EVUS enrollment begins.
How will this affect travelers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau?
Anyone from these regions traveling on a People’s Republic of China passport with a 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa will be required to enroll in EVUS.
Travelers using other travel documents, including Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan passports may continue to travel to the U.S. as they currently do.
How will this affect Chinese nationals living in Canada who have qualified for 10-year visas as landing immigrants of Canada?
Anyone traveling on a People’s Republic of China passport with a 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa will be required to enroll in EVUS, regardless of current residence.
Will the EVUS website be translated?
Yes, the website will be available in both English and Mandarin Chinese. However, all 10-year B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa holders must answer the EVUS questions in English.
The most up to date information for EVUS can be found at www.cbp.gov/EVUS.
If you are interested in applying for a U.S. Visa, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!